Three perspectives to global projects: Managing risks in multicultural project networks

Kirsi Aaltonen, Mervi Murtonen, Sampo Tukiainen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Global projects represent an extremely challenging form of project work, especially in the sense that despite the best efforts for planning and prediction, the complexity of the project network and the fact that the operations usually take place on foreign soil with foreign partners are likely to cause many unpredictable and unexpected events and deviations from project plans, having a significant impact on the project progress. The purpose of this study is to identify and analyse interactions between cultural processes, network connections and risk management practices in global delivery projects. During the research, data has been collected from 21 case projects delivered to 17 countries world-wide. The studied projects varied in size, the degree of success and cultural diversity. The data consists of 92 interviews with the project managers and other project specific key personnel from four project-based companies as well as project documentation. The interviews have been conducted both in Finland and in various project host countries. The examination of the case projects is implemented both as project specific and comparative case studies. By the project specific historical studies, the project trajectories and critical incidents have been described as well as explanations for the project specific outcomes in general have been sought for. In addition, the comparative research designs have been built according to the planned and emergent outcomes of the projects as well as according to their cultural diversity and institutional characteristics. By the comparisons, novel ways to unravel the risks and difficulties of the project management due to the cultural differences have been sought for. The results of this study inevitably present the significant impact of the various project stakeholders and the emerging cultural diversity on the project risk management processes required for answering the specific needs and challenges of global projects.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages47
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7306-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Research Notes


  • project management
  • risk management
  • stakeholder management
  • cultural diversity


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